John Wynne

The Organ Recital (work in progress). This installation, based on my own recent CT scan will be launched on May 12 from 2-5pm at Cable Depot, London. The exhibition will run 13-26 May, by appointment only. For an appointment, email info @ sensitivebrigade dot com (remove spaces and replace dot with .)

For this concert, I will be adapting the composition for violin and low frequencies I made for the installation and quiet that splinters the winter on the Amoenus immersive sound system at The Bath House in Hackney Wick, London. Tickets here.

I will be artist-in-residence at Cable Depot in London from the end of March to 12 April 2024, developing a new site-specific sound and video installation entitled The Organ Recital. The work is based on my own recent CT scan - the image to the left is of my body. The opening is 12 May from 2-5pm, and the exhibition will run 13-26 May (by appointment only).

In early 2024 I was aritst-in-residence at the renowned EMS Elektronmusikstudion Stockholm, where I spent most of my time in their largest studio, pictured here. This studio was designed by the same company that designed ABBA's famous Polar Studios in Stockholm. Here I experimented with materials and techniques for various projects, including The Organ Recital, to be installed in London in spring 1024.

And quiet that shatters the winter  is a site-specific installation in collaboration with Denise Hawrysio in At Home Gallery, Slovakia. It uses video, sound and collage to address the brutal war in Ukraine and its tragic consequences both for people and the environment. The gallery was built as a synagogue just before WWI, but only used as such until the Nazi occupation in WWII, during which it was used as an ammunition store.

I was invited to be the first guest presenter for this great project initiated by Peter Hatch, composer and former director of the Open Ears Festival in Ontario. I composed and performed a new piece for violin and low frequencies, which I dedicated to my friend Graham Meisner, who died earlier in the year. My performance lecture took place at 4:33pm in the gorgeous Beaver Point Hall on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia in August 2023.

I have composed the soundtrack for Damnation, a new digital film by experimental San Francisco filmmaker Scott Stark. "A succession of guilty souls is viewed through a mysterious portal as they are dispatched to eternal damnation." It premiered at Anthology Film Archives, New York City, in November 2022.

See here for a review in Lake Ivan Film Review.

My new video installation, a posthumous collaboration with Tim Wainwright, will be showing in Stockholm from 1 Oct 2022 to 29 Jan 2023 as part of Life Eternal, an exhibition curated by the Nobel Prize Museum in Stockholm. People I wouldn't have known uses still and moving images and sound from our work with transplant patients at the Royal Free and Harefield transplant centres in the UK. The exhibition also includes work by Mark Dion, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Andrea Galvani, and others.

See Nobel Prize Museum for more information.


2022 Guggenheim Fellow Janis Crystal Lipzin commissioned me to compose the soundtrack for Ontogeny. The world premiere of this digital film was at the Crossroads Festival in San Francisco in August 2022.


An interview in the American journal TransplantNATION about the two projects I did with the late Tim Wainwright, working with transplant patients in two UK hospitals.

Study for Violin and Canada Goose was composed in 2021 for artist, researcher and curator Charlotte Hoechsmann's “loudl-oudl-ow” project: she commissioned audio works by 58 musicians / sound artists, each of whom was asked to make a piece based on a bird of their choice. Details of its publication to come in early 2023.

On Something is an online exhibition with MOCA London which unfolded incrementally in May 2021 as a series of 12 short Instagram videos. Produced through a month of studio experimentation exploring the interaction of sound, images, objects and text, the 12 videos were compiled on the MOCA website at the end of the month. 


I am the gigantic baobab, a film I made with Sara Davidmann and young members of the LGBTQ+ community in Botswana, is showing as part of the Strangelove Festival 2020. This film is in Screen 5. Showing in Screen 2 is Cats and Dogs, a live violin and manipulated video piece I made for MOCA London during the first COVID-19 lockdown in London.

Cats and Dogs is a live performance for violin and moving image created for online audiences during the Coronavirus lockdown in London. It was first shown by MOCA London in April 2020 and then by Gazelli Art House on June 14, 2020. The source video footage was shot by Denise Hawrysio. 


My work was selected as part of SEAD Exemplars collection, a project of the Network for Sciences, Engineering, Arts and Design (SEAD). 

"The SEAD Steering Committee gathered a collection of 'exemplar' works demonstrating effective intersections among the sciences and engineering with art, design, and the humanities. The collection provides ample evidence not only of the diversity of opportunities for 'STEM to STEAM' to happen, but also of the positive impact that disciplinary integration can have in education, culture, and economic resurgence.

Transplant & Life is an exemplar of how artists can provide a new human perspective to scientific and technological issues. The project changes the understanding of this life-changing and emotional medical procedure, engaging the general public while also being a valuable humanizing resource for both patients and clinicians."


My work with organ transplant patients is featured in an article entitled 'Increasing Awareness of Heart Transplantation Through Socially Engaged Art Practices' in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (Vol 1, Issue 3, Oct 2019).

Birds I wouldnt have heard is my collaborative work with the late Tim Wainwright based on our work with organ transplant patients. The installation, which includes a 90-minute video with surround sound, is part of the exhibition Spare Parts at Science Gallery London.

I'm saddened to write that the photographer with whom I have collaborated on several projects over many years, Tim Wainwright, passed away in London on November 21, 2018. He was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer a few months ago and accepted his fate with incredible grace and tranquility.

Noise Pollution in Hospitals, an article I co-authored with the rest of the HPNoSS team, is published in the British Medical Journal, one of the world's leading peer-reviewed medical research journals.

Together with anthropologist Dr Abin Thomas, I convened and participated in a panel called 'Organ transplantation and art: The ethics and politics of representation', at the 2018 Royal Anthropological Institute conference in London. The panel, allocated a three-hour double session, included leading medical anthropologist Professor Lesley Sharp from Columbia University as well as artists and social scientists from around the world. Lesley, Abin and I also participated in a workshop funded by the King’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, 'Laboratories of health: human and non-human subjects', at which I presented the HPNoSS project (see below).

My presentation at Re-thinking Sound 2018 in Seoul, South Korea, was called 'The Sound of Feelings: Voice, language and emotion in organ transplant patients'. I discussed my work-in-progress with linguist Professor Elena Semino and researcher in emotional psychology Dr Hedwig Eisenbarth, analysing and working with transcripts and recordings of transplant recipients.

Along with other members of the CRISAP Research Centre (Creative Practice in Sound Arts Practice), I was invited to provide tracks for a playlist on the Helicotrema website. My contribution consists of recordings from two of my site-specific installations for high and low frequencies. The pieces themselves were not partiuclarly loud, but because of the very high and very low frequencies, the better your sound system, the more you'll get from these recordings. But you won't get anything like the full effect of the installations without expensive tweeters and massive, club-scale woofers!

Caroline Bergvall asked me to do the sound design and composition for Oh My Oh My, commissioned by Documenta 14.

This work for voice, trombone and field recording composition was broadcast as part of the Documenta 14 Radio programme Every Time A Ear di Soun, which was live streamed daily in Kassel, worldwide on the website of documenta 14, and broadcast on radio stations in Greece, Colombia, Cameroon, Brazil, US, Lebanon, Indonesia and Germany.

A live version was performed by Caroline and trombonist Sarah Gail Brand in October 2017 at London South Bank as part of the London Literature Festival and at King’s College London as part of the Arts and Humanities Festival 2017.

Interdisciplinary workshop / symposium at King's College Hospital's simulation ward as part of HPNoSS (Hospital Project on Noise, Sound and Sleep), on which I am lead creative researcher.


Grave, a sculptural installation with metronone, video projection, miniature violin and feedback showed at the Wexford Arts Centre in Ireland in late 2017.

presented the work of a key group of Irish and international artists whose practice is concerned with sound - from composition, physics and sculpture to noise, acousmatics and listening.

Works by David Beattie, Richard Carr, Edgardo Rudnitzky, John Wynne


I am the lead creative researcher on HPNoSS (Hospital Project on Noise, Sound and Sleep). We have seed funding from the King's Cultural Institute, and I'm working with Professor Anne Marie Rafferty (Professor of Nursing Policy at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery), Dr Andreas Xyrichis (lecturer and researcher at the Florence Nightingale Faculty), Professor Angus Carlyle (Professor of Sound and Landscape at the University of the Arts London), and Dr Jamie Mackrill (Lecturer in Design Engineering at Imperial College London). We are looking at practical and creative ways of improving the patient experience in hospitals.



Presentation at the Sound of Memory symposium at Goldsmiths College, University of London 24 April 2017.

Transplant and Life is reviewed on The BMJ Medical Humanities Blog by Emma Barnard. "This exhibition is a poignant reminder that the objects contained within the glass jars of the Hunterian Museum are of human origin."

In conversation with Karen Taylor (rb&hArts) and Beth Elliott (Bethlem Gallery), discussing the Transplant and Life project in the library of the Royal College of Surgeons, London.

Click for a podcast of a one-hour discussion of the Transplant and Life project with host Mark Aitken on There Then, Hear Now on Resonance FM. Includes audio clips from the installation.

Along with linguist Dr Sam Hellmuth, I am a guest on Word of Mouth, BBC Radio 4's long-running series exploring "words and the way we use them". Our discussion about intonation and its relationship to music will be broadcast on February 14 at 4pm, repeated February 20 at 11pm. It will also be available on the BBC iPlayer, and as a download, here.

Transplant and Life is reviewed in The Lancet, one of the world's leading medical journals.

"Surgery is considered by many to be the most closed of the medical professions. It may still have some work to do in catching up with the current desire for accountability and transparency. So, it is a real pleasure to see the Transplant and Life exhibition, at The Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), espouse a sense of modernity and inclusiveness.

Claire Marx, the RCS's first female President, spoke feelingly at the launch of how proud she felt to have the testimony of patients put centre­ stage, within such hallowed walls, for the very first time. She is right to claim that this modest exhibition is 'the jewel in the crown' of what the RCS has to show."

Gabriel Weston, The Lancet, January 2017


Transplant and Life

Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons
Lincoln's Inn Fields, London

22 November 2016 - 20 May 2017

An exhibition and programme of events exploring organ transplantation. Artists Tim Wainwright and John Wynne use sound, photography and video to give voice to the patient expperience in the xontext of the medical museum, a place normally associated with specimens, hardware, and clinical heroes.

The exhibition and related programme of events aim to raise awareness of the importance of transplantation and the challenges surrounding it.

A bespoke digital guide will enrich the experience of both visitors and those not able to visit the museum. It provides access to images, sounds, and scientific and historical information not directly available in the galleries and helps visitors explore transplant-related objects in the Hunterian Museum collection.

I am currently artist-in-residence, along with photographer Tim Wainwright, at the Royal Free Hospital in London. We spent the night in the operating theatre in September 2016 with Consultant Surgeon Bimbi Fernando as he and his team prepared and transplanted two kidneys from a deceased donor. The materials we are collecting will be used for an exhibition / installation at the Hunterian Museum (Royal College of Surgeons) in London in late November 2016.

Encountering Pain: Hearing, seeing, speaking
An international conference at University College London exploring a range of interdisciplinary approaches to help us better understand encounters with pain both within and beyond the clinic. My presentation, in collaboration with Tim Wainwright, was entitled "Pain and Renewal in Organ Transplantation".

I will give a keynote address at the Research and Innovation: Practice-related Research Conference at Southampton Solent University on May 20, 2016. Left, an image from my project recording speakers of Gitxsanimaax in Kispiox, British Columbia.

The Patient is a compelling exhibition exploring the human experience of illness, disease and ultimately death, opening at UNSW Galleries in Sydney, Australia in June, 2016.

Curated by Rebecca Dean, the exhibition examines the representation of medical patients in contemporary art and artists themselves as medical subjects through a wide range of media including video, installation, performance and virtual reality works by 18 leading artists from six countries.

Dean describes the exhibition as “fearless, funny, painfully beautiful and unlovely”, saying the exhibition aims to examine the ways artists engage with powerful human experiences in the fields of health, biological science and medicine. “The artists in this exhibition deepen our own enquiries into the actual stuff of illness and disease, death and life – how they manifest viscerally and psychologically as well as socially and politically.”

Participating artists: Ingrid Bachmann (Canada), John A Douglas (Australia), Brenton Heath-Kerr (Aus), Carol Jerrems (Aus), Eugenie Lee (Korea/Aus), David McDiarmid (Aus), Helen Pynor (Aus/UK), Jo Spence (UK), ORLAN (France), John Wynne (Can/UK) & Tim Wainwright (Aus/UK), Bob Flanagan & Sheree Rose (US), and Guy Ben-Ary (US/Aus) with Nathan Thompson, Andrew Fitch, Douglas Bakkum, Stuart Hodgetts, Mike Edel.

This publication, edited by Rupert Cox, Andrew Irving and Christopher Wright contains a short text about the Transplant project and the accompanying DVD features a 20-minute excerpt from the Transplant video.

Beyond text? Critical practices and sensory anthropology is about the relationship between anthropological understandings of the world, sensory perception and aesthetic practices. The volume brings together leading figures in anthropology, visual and sound studies to explore how knowledge, sensation and embodied experiences can be researched and represented by combining different visual, aural and textual forms. The book and DVD make an argument for a necessary, critical development in anthropological ways of knowing that take place not merely at the level of theory and representation but also through innovative fieldwork methods and media practices.

Funding has just been confirmed for an installation in the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons in London in late 2016. The Hunterian hosts unrivalled collections of human and non-human anatomical and pathological specimens, models, instruments, painting and sculptures that reveal the art and science of surgery from the 17th century to the present day. Tim Wainwright and I will work with kindney and liver transplant recipients and 'live donors' at the Royal Free Hospital. The project will give voice to the patient experience and bring the sights and sounds of patients into the museum, a place more commonly associated with specimens, hardware, and clinical heroes.

Click left for the podcast of Making Conversations, a discussion between myself, Andrew Prescott (Professor of Digital Humanities at University of Glasgow and AHRC Theme Leader Fellow for Digital Transformations) and Mandana Seyfeddinipur (Director of the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme at SOAS).

My work is featured in a new publication by Gazelli Art House celebrating 5 years of exhibitions by the gallery. Click here or the image left to see more.

Grave, a sculptural piece using feedback at Gazelli Art House, London, 2015. Click here or the image left for documentation of the piece, including video.

I'm pleased to announce the release of an updated version of Hearing Voices: Speakers/Languages. Free download from ELP Publishing. For Mac OSX or Windows. It contains recordings and photographs, as well as interviews and information about the highly endangered Khoi and San 'click languages' I recorded in the Kalahari Desert in collaboration with linguist Andy Chebanne and artist Denise Hawrysio.

Thanks to David Nathan for his hard work and perseverance in sorting out bugs and making some great improvements in design and functionality. Thanks also to my Fb friends who helped by beta testing. The original design was done in collaboration with Rob Munro. Foreword by David Toop.

The app is accompanied by a recent article I wrote entitled 'Hearing Voices: Research and creative practice across cultures and disciplines', in Language Documentation and Description, Vol 12: Special Issue on Language Documentation and Archiving. Edited by David Nathan & Peter K. Austin:

Gaborone, Botswana, 2015. I was working with a colleague from the University of the Arts London, Sara Davidmann, to record sound, video and still images with participants of a UNESCO project on gender and sexual identity in southern Africa. This photograph of us working with Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile (Kat) was taken by John McAllister, Botswana co-ordinator of the UNESCO project.

The web log for the Transplant project has been restored after a long absence due to technical problems. I was artist in residence for one year at Harefield Hospital, one of the world's leading centres for heart and lung transplants. Working closely with photographer Tim Wainwright, I recorded patients, the devices they were attached to or had implanted within their bodies, as well as staff and the environment of the hospital itself. On this site you will also find the video originally made for a DVD contained in the book, Transplant, edited by Victoria Hume.

Click the image left for the Transplant Log.

Click here for more information on the project outcomes.

An article by Jen Van Evra on the Anspayaxw installation in Canada's national newspaper. Click the image left to read.

Anspayaxw, my 12-channel installation based on the endangered indigenous language Gitxsanimaax, is on at the Surrey Art Gallery until August 22, 2015.

Installation view of the piece developed during my research residency at the Gallery, University of Bournemouth in March 2015.

I am starting a residency in the University of Bournemouth Art Gallery on February 14. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I know what I’m going to use to do it. My plan is to bring speakers that are only capable of reproducing very high and very low frequencies along with a mix of new and old technology (including my first computer, an Atari ST) and use these to make a work that takes as its starting point the existing ambient soundscape and visual architecture of the gallery but grows over time, like microbes in a petri dish, into something else.

Dubai TV news coverage of I Am Not the Cancer.

I Am Not the Cancer in Dubai, December 2014. Six plasma screens, six super-directional speakers, two subwoofers. This is a video and sound installation based on women with advanced (metastatic) breast cancer. Developed in collaboration with photographer Tim Wainwright, different versions of the piece have shown in ten cities, including London, Athens, Brussels, Nicosia, Basel and Dubai.

Click here for a one hour interview about my work with Morgan Quaintance on his show, Studio Visit, on Resonance FM. The programme is available on Morgan's website, where he also has archives of interviews with artists such as Carolee Schneemann and Jimmie Durham.

Everyday Listening, asked me "Five sound questions"

The Exponential Horn: In Search of Perfect Sound

14.00-16.30, Saturday 28 June 2014

An afternoon of new and historical works, including four world premieres made especially for reproduction through the historic Denman Horn, Britain's largest horn loudspeaker.

Featuring live music, sound, and moving image by
John Wynne, Glyn Perrin, Michael Oliva, Jennifer Walshe, Simon Tyszko, Zbigniew Karkowski, Federico Reuben and Aleks Kolkowski. With a performance of John Cage’s Cartridge Music (1960) by Langham Research Centre.

Invitation to a panel discussion during my exhibtion at Gazelli Art House in London. The Flux, and I was a two person show with Yoonjin Jung which closed at the end of June 2014. Featured two new installations, Installation no 3 for high and low frequencies and Architectural Sound Drawing no 3.


Click for an interview with me about the show.

This article on my work by Julian Cowley was published in MusicWorks magazine late in 2013. Click to see the full article.

Lecture at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) entitled 'Language Endangerment and Sound Art: Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Research Ethics'.

Lecture for the Documentary Research Forum at the London College of Communication entitled 'Documentation and Abstraction: Sound art and asymmetrical relationships in research'.

Participants on my sound walk, part of a day I spent with associates and guests of Open School East, a free art school in Hackney. OSE is "a study programme for 12 associate artists and a communal space housed in the old Rose Lipman Library in East London. Emphasizing cooperation and experimentation, the initiative is set up to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and skills between artists, local residents, neighbourhood organisations and the broader public."

Nocturnal, a collaborative installation with film maker Atom Egoyan. Commissioned by Aldeburgh music, this is a site specific installation using 17.4 channels of audio, video projection and a camera obscura mechanism to transfer the moving image from one space into another.

Click for video documentation.


Anspyaxw, my 12-channel sound and still image installation with photos by Denise Hawrysio, is on at the Museum of Anthropology's Satellite Gallery in Vancouver until October 26, 2013.

Endangered Languages symposium MOA

Session 3 of the symposium On Endangered Languages: Indigeneity, Community and Creative Practice at the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver. The symposium coincided with the opening of Anspayaxw at MoA's Satellite Gallery.

I am not the cancer

I am not the cancer, a collaborative sound and video installation with Tim Wainwright. This piece was made after recording women with advanced / metastatic breast cancer in the UK, Netherlands and France.

Egg Centre, Brussels, Belgium, 2013.

6 HD plasma screens, 6 chairs, 6 hyper directional overhead speakers, 2 subwoofers.

What is What

What is What, in collaboration with Denise Hawrysio at Frise Künstlerhaus in Hamburg.

HD plasma screen, DVD, 2.1 sound system.

Hamburg invite

Cold Atlantic shows again, this time in Hamburg at Frise Künstlerhaus.
Plus a new installation, What is What, in collaboration with Denise Hawrysio.


Cold Atlantic, a small sculptural installation developed from my earlier work with hearing aids, at the Justina M Barnicke Gallery in Toronto in a group show called Volume: Hear Here, curated by Christof Migone.

Jan 16 – Mar 10, 2013

The exhibition spreads over two galleries:

Blackwood Gallery
Alexis O'Hara, Dave Dyment, Darsha Hewitt, John Oswald, Ian Skedd, Charles Stankeviech

Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
Mitchell Akiyama, crys cole, Marla Hlady, Neil Klassen, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, David Lieberman, Sylvia Matas, David Merritt, Ryan Park, Juliana Pivato, Alexandre St-Onge, Chiyoko Szlavnics, John Wynne


Anspayaxw, a 12-channel sound and photography installation, showed in late 2012 as a solo exhibition in San Francisco. Curated by Ethnographic Terminalia as part of Audible Observatories, the event was in conjunction with the American Anthropological Association's conference, where I was also on a panel with Steven Feld, Rupert Cox and others. The recordings and photographs were made in collaboration with Denise Hawrysio and linguist Tyler Peterson. The installation is scheduled to show next in September 2013 at the UBC Museum of Anthropology's Satellite Gallery in downtown Vancouver.

Faster Higher Stronger is a short video which developed from an earlier installation of the same name. It makes use of graphic subversions of the Olympic rings and reflects the endless hype that accompanies the Games around the world.


I was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Sound Design / Composition by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts for my work with director Graham McLaren's production of Andromache for Necessary Angel Theatre Company in Toronto. Also nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Principal Role is Christine Horne, pictured here.

Wynne installation for high and low requencies

Installation no 2 for high and low frequencies. Site-specific installation at Angus-Hughes Gallery in London. For more images and reviews, click here.

This work appears as the physical projection of an otherwise concealed, yet primary force that underlies the activity of listening – not only spatially but also culturally and temporally.... And yet this is not a demonstration of acoustic laws: it puts each listener in a heightened relationship with the aural phenomena and inevitably – like all the forms of sound-making focused on the environment, on the passing and reverberations of time – it prompts deep considerations on how we relate to what moves us and in spite of us; to the shape of what we hear, to how this shape changes and melts with the everyday, how it anchors each listener to the here and now of their listening. Rooted in timeless physical laws, this work nonetheless gains resonance in the contingent, changing laws of individual perception.


Daniela Cascella, Frieze Magazine

tweeter and woofer

ZKM sound art show

The Transplant video (in collaboration with Tim Wainwright) was installed as part of this extensive survey show of sound art at the ZKM Institute in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Kispiox River sign in winter by John Wynne

A new audio work based on environmental recordings I made in and around the Gitxsan reserve at Kispiox, British Columbia, will be part of the Sounds (Extra)Ordinary exhibition organised by The Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax, Canada. The show opens February 1 and all the works will also be broadcast on CKDU FM and other stations across Canada.

John Abram (CN)
Audio Lodge (CN)
Laura Cameron and Matt Rogalsky (CN)
Marla Hlady (CN)
Francisco López (ES)
John Wynne (UK/CN)
Rachel Woolmore-Goodwin (CN)

Bob Wilson at Kispiox photo by Denise Hawrysio for John Wynne's Anspayaxw

I was recently commissioned to make a new radio piece based on some of the materials from my work with speakers of the endangered indigenous language Gitxsanimaax in northern British Columbia. The True Language will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday January 31 during a programme called Short Cuts which starts at 3pm. The theme of this episode is Lost for Words.

Aleks Kolkowski recorded my installation Beating Tones and Flapping Wings last year on a wax cylinder. Here is the recording. You can barely hear the installation, but the recording is all the more intriguing as a result.

Detail of my recent site-specific Installation no 1 for high and low frequencies. It shared the space with Kate Terry's thread piece. The exhibition, Air I Breathe was curated by Mila Askarova.

As well as commissioning the large site-specific installation above, curator Mila Askarova of Gazelli Art House also asked me to show this piece, Hearing Loss, originally made in 2006.


I have two pieces in this group show in London, new installation plus Hearing Loss, a piece from a few years ago. Also in the show are Little Whitehead, Kate Terry and Yoonjin Jung. Click here or the image left to view the invitation. Click here for the press release.

The show is curated by Mila Askarov for Gazelli Art House

Joensuu article

I was recently Head of Jury for an interesting (and possibly unique) "soundscape composition contest" in the city of Joensuu in Finland.  The 9 shortlisted works were played on a 100 speaker sound system permanently installed in a pedestrianized zone of the city.

I'm somewhat cynical about competitions - I think it means something if you win, assuming the judges have been attentive and conscientious, but it can mean very little if you don't win. We probably missed some work which would have sounded great on the street, but we couldn't hear all 143 entries on the public system, so most entries had to be eliminted on the basis of hearing them in less than ideal circumstances. Entries came from all over the world, but we were unanimous in awarding first place to a piece made by a local artist.

Click for translation

This 'enhanced audio CD' has just been released on the Sub Rosa label. Click here for info.

It is also available through Antenne Books in the UK and Art Metropole in Canada.

- Audio CD with a 45-minute recording of the installation
- Bouncing off the Walls, a split-screen video by Pete Gomes
- An Aesthetics of Pressure, an essay by Brandon LaBelle


I don’t consider myself a ‘theatre person’, but I was approached to do the sound design for a production of Racine’s Andromache by Scottish director Graham McLaren, who is known for his challenging adaptations of the classics.  I liked his open, experimental approach, so I took it on, and working with Graham and the cast for Necessary Angel in Toronto turned out to be a joy.

NOW Magazine:
John Wynne's sound design and Andrea Lundy's stark lighting grip us in fear as we sit on all four sides of a square that could be a military barracks, common area or interrogation room somewhere in a Middle East war zone.

The Torontoist:
The language, set, costumes and sound design (a barely noticeable, persistent, low throbbing that at points builds into the sound of a jet overhead) results in one of the most successful modern adaptations we've seen in recent memory.

The Globe and Mail:
You might come away from this Andromache seeing it as a scathing commentary on shallow western values. You will come away knowing you've seen a thrilling reinterpretation of a classic.

Image: Arsinée Khanjian as Andromache

Anpsayaxw poster

Anspayaxw, a 12-channel sound and photography installation, has just opened at the 'Ksan Museum gallery in Hazelton, British Columbia. The museum is in Gitxsan territory near the Kispiox reserve where the recordings and photographs were made in collaboration with Denise Hawrysio and linguist Tyler Peterson. Runs until October 31, 2011.


A symposium about auditory spatial awareness and the perception of sound in architectural space to mark the release of an enhanced audio CD of my installation for 300 speakers, Pianola and vacuum cleaner.

6–8 pm Wed March 23
Podium Lecture Theatre
London College of Communication SE1 6SB

Hugh Huddy
(Writer and accessibility expert at the Royal National Institute of Blind People)

Paul Bavister
(BFLS Architects and The Bartlett School of Architecture)

Ross Brown
(Central School of Speech and Drama)

and a site-specific performance by
Bob (Ruth) Levene

in the dark

An hour-long talk at Clocks and Clouds, an event presented by In the Dark, an organisation dedicated to curating, commissioning and discussing challenging works for radio involving spoken word. March 5, 2011.


ITU, the surround sound video made by Tim Wainwright and myself, is showing on February 7 at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin as part of Liminality, a programme devised by artist and physician, Ciara McMahon. Tim and I will participate in a discussion on the work on the 7th, and Transplant, the video published with our book, will show on February 9.


Accepting the award for Sonic Art at the British Composer Awards 2010 from Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the South Bank Centre in London. The award was for my Installation for 300 speakers, Pianola and vacuum cleaner.

The judges described the winning work as "aurally and visually mesmerising, involving a resonant and enigmatic sound world. A highly structured composition with a visual impact."

Listen to BBC Radio 3's coverage of the awards...


Mexican art magazine Taxi has reviewed the Newspeak show at the Saatchi Gallery which featured the 300 speaker installation. Click on the left to see the article.

...John Wynne has achieved international reverberation with this exhibition...





Installation for 300 speakers, player piano and vacuum cleaner

This show at The Saatchi Gallery has now closed. See here for press coverage and documentation.

With John Wynne’s untitled installation of 300 speakers, amplifiers and other impedimenta I have no doubt that I am in the presence of a work of art. I do not pretend to understand it. I know only that, alone in Gallery 10 where the ceiling is exceptionally high, these grey, brown and black bits and pieces of our technological lives combine in an odd grace as they climb the walls in one corner. They recall, and trounce, Rachel Whiteread’s failure with white plastic boxes in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern and Anish Kapoor’s red-wax-in-the-corner cannon piece in the RA, but Wynne’s profound sense of order makes their disorder and haphazardry seem ridiculous.

Brian Sewell, The Evening Standard

Cage would have enjoyed this. The most disconcerting thing, however, is a long length of vacuum-cleaner hose that snakes from a doorway and between the speakers to the pianola. The hose quivers, writhes and slithers about, as a hidden Hoover powers the pianola. It's like sharing the room with an awakening python.

Adrian Searle, The Guardian

Beating Tones and Flapping Wings was a two-part installation at Wilton's Music Hall in London commissioned for the Cut and Splice Festival and made in collaboration with Denise Hawrysio. Click on the image to the left for a short video clip. Click here for more information and the publication Cut & Splice: Transmission.

... John Wynne‘s deft installation exploring the aural illusion known as the Shepard Phenomenon, as well as a book of interviews and essays edited by Sound Threshold‘s Daniela Cascella and Lucia Farinati and designed in the style of photocopied electronics manual, added to the impression of Cut & Splice as a celebration of inventiveness, interference and hands-on sonic practice, as well as a conduit for radio’s more mysterious qualities.

Frances Morgan, Frieze Magazine

Anspayaxw is a 12-channel installation with phtographs by Denise Hawrysio shown at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver during Border Zones: New Art Across Cultures. The work will travel to other galleries in Canada in 2011/12

Click here for an essay by Kate Hennessey entitled Asymmetrical Translations: The art of John Wynne.

See below for an interview about this work

Click left for an interview about the Anspayaxw project made by the Museum of Anthropology.

Hearts, Lungs and Minds, a half-hour composed documentary for radio was broadcast for the second time on BBC Radio 3 in December 2009. This piece is based on recordings made with Tim Wainwright while we were artists in residence at Harefield Hospital, one of the world's leading centres for heart and lung transplants. It can be heard, along with another of my works for BBC Radio, at the Sound and Anthropology website of St Andrews University in Scotland.

See below for an interview about the Transplant project.

Click left for a short video about the Transplant project featuring interviews with John Wynne and Tim Waiwright on StaticTV.

Faster Higher Stronger is a 5-channel installation which makes use of publicly visible graphic subversions of the Olympic rings gathered from various sources. It was exhibited in Sound Proof 2, a recent exhibtion in London about the Olympics curated by Monica Biagioli.